The armored fighting vehicle Stryker is an eight-wheeled, 4-wheel drive which can be switched over to an all-wheel drive. Produced by General Dynamics Land Systems for the US Army, this vehicle was modeled from the Canadian LAV III and is considered one of the top military vehicles.
In October of 1999, the US Army was adopted a flexible doctrine which allowed quick deployment of fully equipped troops ready for a number of different operations. The plan outlined the need for an ‘interim armored vehicle’; a vehicle capable of filling the gap between the heavier designs (which were not easily deployable) and the lightly armed and protected (more deployable) vehicles.
In 2005, production began with a limited number of vehicles to present for evaluation. There has been extensive media coverage on the Stryker as it has become a controversial vehicle among military experts.
Future of the Stryker
The US Army has rebuilt over 1,000 Strykers as a result their involvement on the battlefield. Once refurbished, they returned to the action. The Army already has planned to improve this armored fighting vehicle. A few of the upgrades are listed below:
- Semi-active suspension
- Reshaped hull for better protection against IEDs
- Additional armor on the sides
- Hatches which minimize gaps in the armor
- Upgraded seating which absorbs blasts
- Tires made from a non-flammable material
- Remote weapons station (permits firing while vehicle is moving)
Specifications for the Stryker
- Originated: United States and Canada
- Crew and Passengers: Varies
- Main Armament: M2 .50cal machine gun (or) MK 19 .40mm grenade launcher
- Secondary Armament: .50cal M2 MG and an M240 7.62mm MG
- Stryker Engine: Caterpillar C7
- Range of Operation: 310 miles
- Speed: Top speed of 62 miles per hour
Listed below are the many different variants that have evolved from the initial Stryker design:
- M1126 – Infantry Carrier
- M1127 Recon Vehicle
- M1128 – Mobile Gun System
- M1129 – Mortar Carrier
- M1130 – Command Vehicle
- M1131 – Fire Support Vehicle
- M1132 – Engineer Squad Vehicle
- M1133 – Medical Evacuation Vehicle
- M1134 – Anti-Tank Guide Missile Vehicle
- M1135 – Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Recon Vehicle
- Mxxxx Self-Propelled Howitzer (Prototype only)
The Stryker was initially launched during the Iraq War in October of 2003 and utilized by a number of brigades with the last deployment occurring in July of 2010. Strykers were also deployed in Afghanistan where this armored fighting vehicle continues to serve.